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Summary

What if you could try out all the lives you could have lived and pick one? Would you choose differently? 

'Between life and death there is a library,' she said. 'And within that library, the shelves go on for ever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices. Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?'

Thirty-four-year-old Nora's life could be better. She's lonely, single and has just lost her job. Her cat dying feels like the last straw. What else is there to live for? Then she finds a library between life and death where she gets to try all the other lives she could have lived. 

The Midnight Library is a gloriously relatable novel about life, death and the in-between. It is about finding hope, playing chess, dumping regrets and picking the right people around you.

©2020 Matt Haig (P)2020 Canongate Books Ltd

What listeners say about The Midnight Library

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Fantasy may be hard to take if you’re depressed

Please scroll through all of the many reviews on here as there are mixed feelings about this one.
Carey Mulligan is a superb narrator and really enhanced the book.
It seemed more like a young adult read, simplistic and aimed at a young teenage audience perhaps?
If you are positive and value life then you may enjoy the premise of this story and get hope and strength from its message.
If you are struggling and finding life incredibly challenging you may be brought down by the simplistic fantasy and feel bad about yourself because life is not easy.
Matt Haig has his own mental health struggles and I get why he wrote this book, but it won’t be for everyone.
I know this will be made into a film, it is ripe for a Christmas blockbuster.
Most reviewers absolutely love this story, some find it too sickly sweet or are bored with the daft fantasy. Some people will despair that their lives don’t match up.
I am a mixture of all of the above!! Glad I heard it but wouldn’t want to listen again and not happy about the way it was written but realise that it will make a lot of people happy.

287 people found this helpful

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A touching look at depression and regret.

Matt Haig writes beautifully - I didn’t realise how touched I would be by this book. Throughout I found myself considering my own choices - not my past regrets, but the decisions I can make from this point forwards. Carey’s narration is outstanding - a well suited pick.

74 people found this helpful

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Delightful and exciting

Purchased this the day it was released and have just finished it. I loved it. Carey Mulligan narrates with great empathy and keeps you enthralled. Who hasnt wondered how their lives would have turned out if they'd made other decisions. This book allows the main character, Nora to see how her life would have turned out if she had said yes, or chose a different path. Worth a listen.

71 people found this helpful

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Beautiful story, well read

Such a great idea, well executed and a really wonderful story that flows well and kept me hooked. Matt Haig writes with humour and sadness in equal measure and his core beliefs shine through in this lovely tale. The importance of kindness, love, caring about the planet and not comparing yourself to others. It is read beautifully by Carey. I needed this story, thank you!

57 people found this helpful

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Overly sentimental and became tedious.

Basically, the story went on far too long. Each life was unnecessarily detailed and often trite. The basic idea was excellent and with heavy editing would have been far more enjoyable. Sadly, the ending was entirely predictable and disappointing, although with tighter and less cloyingly sentimental writing, would have been better.

42 people found this helpful

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Brilliant and interesting.

Interesting look at depression and the regrets we all have. The story takes you on a brilliant journey of Nora’s self discovery through many life times. I found it uplifting and powerful, as someone who struggles with her own mental health the ending was empowering.

37 people found this helpful

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wonderful

I listened on audible and the narrator was excellent! A lovely tale to make you think about your regrets. Very early on I knew where this book would go but that possibly comes from being a huge Matt Haig fan. It didn’t detract from the story at all and I loved the journey of the protagonist. I feel he really poured himself into this book because it’s beautiful and so delicate in its construction.

Choose this, everyone can and should enjoy it. I’ve recommended it already!

33 people found this helpful

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An excellent but difficult read if you aren’t perfect.

Disclaimer I only got to Chapter 15 but I couldn’t go on. The book is very well written and a fascinating concept but it just bit too close to the bone for me. The idea that one can change lives and get rid of regrets just had me overthinking my own life and what I would change. This alone made suicide sound quite a good idea (in theory! I’m not about to try it) and in the end it just made me too uncomfortable to continue.

30 people found this helpful

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Finished Too Quickly

I really enjoyed this book, so much so I couldn't stop listening to it and I finished it too soon. Cary Mulligan's narration was excellent and perfect for Norma's voice and the concept of the book was brilliant.

28 people found this helpful

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worth listening to for the narration alone

I took a chance on this book and loved the narration. interesting story, no real surprises or depth and a bit cheesy at the end, however, i thoroughly enjoyed this book and I don't think you will regret listening to it.

26 people found this helpful

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  • J E Law
  • 25-02-21

Laugh, cry, read this book!

Really enjoyed this book and the concept of exploring the regrets people have in their life. One of those books that stays in your head long after the final chapter. It’s dark, but funny, sad, but joyful. I couldn’t stop listening it’s compelling. Made me laugh and cry all at once.

1 person found this helpful

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  • northernlass
  • 30-01-21

Couldn't stop listening

I loved the idea of the midnight library. It captured me and i was hooked.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Elle
  • 19-01-21

Beautiful read

It was easy to anticipate much of the storyline, but in this case that didn't take anything away from the experience.

Carey Mulligan was flawless except for her Newfoundland pronunciation.

Matt Haig is fast becoming one of my favourite authors in both adult and children's fiction. His style is imaginative yet grounded in a wonderful fashion.

I would recommend this book to anyone.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Grace
  • 17-01-21

Loved it

Interesting, imaginative, meaningful and gently intriguing.
Carey Mulligan's narration is exquisite, brilliant,
Audible needs more talented narrators like Carey Mulligan, it makes all the difference.
Highly recommended .

1 person found this helpful

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  • fiona
  • 01-01-21

Beautiful read

I am sorry I waited so long to read it, loved it !! Would highly recommend

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 27-12-20

easy listening

maybe it was the expectation created around the book, but I didn't think it was brillient. It was entertaining, so happy to give it a 4. The narration was extremely good

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Barry McWilliams
  • 12-12-20

Loved the story, lukewarm about the ending.

The book felt exciting & compelling, but the ending felt a bit pat. It was the „nice, expected“ ending. I guess I wanted something more surprising.

I enjoyed the time I spent listening to it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 14-10-20

An interesting and meaningful book

Thoroughly enjoyed every second, couldn’t put the book down- highly recommended, Althpughly NOT for children,

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-10-20

One of the best books I've ever read.

This book is absolutely wonderful. It shook me awake. It made me cry. It reminded me why I'm happy to be alive. (And Carey Mulligan's narration is PERFECT.)

1 person found this helpful

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  • Leyann Noble
  • 17-04-21

A fantastic story of hope

Whilst the book begins in a dark and macabre fashion, as it progresses it gains a positive and optimistic momentum.
Although it’s heavy to start, it is worth sticking with.